MARKET PULSE- FedEx, Tesla, Atossa, Adobe, Tower Group, Benefitfocus
Sept 18 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Wednesday:
WALL ST FLAT, INVESTORS CAUTIOUS AHEAD OF FED DECISION
U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday ahead of an announcement by the Federal Reserve on the future of its economic stimulus program. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 11.77 points, or 0.08 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 0.87 points, or 0.05 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 3.45 points, or 0.09 percent.
** APPLE INC, $461.82, up 1 pct (9:44 a.m. ET)
The fingerprint reader on Apple's top-end iPhone 5S received an early thumbs up for ease of use from two influential reviewers, helping dispel concerns about the scanning technology which has been notoriously unreliable in other cellphones.
** VOLARIS, $14.24, up 19 pct (10:41 a.m. ET)
Shares of Mexico's low-cost airline Volaris rose in their U.S. debut on Wednesday after the company raised about $350 million through an initial public offering.
** NOKIA, $6.51, up 4 pct (9:49 a.m. ET)
Brokerage Credit Suisse upgraded the Finnish mobile phone maker's Helsinki-listed shares to "outperform" from "neutral", saying its transformative deal with Microsoft Corp allows it to drive significant value creation from its vast patent portfolio.
** BENEFITFOCUS INC, $45.26, up 71 pct (11:31 a.m. ET)
The software maker's shares rose as much as 62 percent in their debut as investors continued to show confidence in cloud-based service providers. The company, backed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc and private equity firm Oak Investment Partners LP, priced its initial public offering at $26.50 per share.
** DRAGONWAVE INC, $2.03, down 18 pct (9:41 a.m. ET)
The telecom network equipment maker priced its public offering at $2.10 per unit, a 14 percent discount to its Tuesday's closing price on the Nasdaq.
DragonWave said it intends to use net proceeds from the $25 million offering for funding working capital and general corporate purposes.
** TOWER GROUP INTERNATIONAL LTD, $10.46, down 25 pct (9:51 a.m. ET)
FBR cut its rating on the property and casualty insurer's stock to "market perform" from "outperform" after the company further delayed its second-quarter results announcement till the first week of October. FBR said that higher reserves in the second quarter could put the insurer in a weaker capital position.
** COGNIZANT TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS CORP, $82.37, up 2 pct (9:44 a.m. ET)
Brokerage Barclays Capital upgraded the IT services provider's stock to "overweight" from "equal weight" as it sees growth in the company's business in consulting and outsourcing in Europe. It also expects strong growth in its health care business. Barclays raised its price target on the company's stock to $97 from $80. Brokerage Evercore Partners also raised its price target late on Tuesday.
** ATOSSA GENETICS INC, Tuesday close $7.10, up 43 pct (10:17 a.m. ET)
The medical device maker said it had entered into a distribution agreement with a unit of McKesson Corp to sell the company's device used to collect breast fluid.
** CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT CORP, $24.27, down 6 pct (10:34 a.m. ET)
The casino operator said it has begun a refinancing process for its outstanding mortgage loans under the second amended and restated loan agreement.
RBC Capital Markets analyst John Kempf said the share movement is a sell-off on the news as the stock was running up in anticipation of the announcement.
** FEDEX CORP, $113.47, up 2.5 pct (9:43 a.m. ET)
FedEx posted a bigger quarterly profit as the courier company cut costs and its lower-priced ground shipping business did well.
** ADOBE SYSTEMS INC, $51.54, up 7 pct (9:43 a.m. ET)
The company, known for its Photoshop and Acrobat software, expects subscriber growth to top the 331,000 it added in the third quarter due to strong demand from corporate customers.
** HEAT BIOLOGICS INC, $13.08, up 7 pct (10:19 a.m. ET)
Aegis Capital Corp began coverage of the biotechnology company with a "buy" rating, saying preliminary data of its bladder and lung cancer study could be out later in the year and positive outcomes could make it a prime acquisition candidate.
The company's Heat Biologics platform, called Immune Pan Antigen Cytotoxic Therapy, delivers modified human cells into the body to activate a cancer patient's immune system and kill cancerous cells.
** COMBIMATRIX CORP, $2.81, down 5 pct (10:30 a.m. ET)
The molecular diagnostics company said on Tuesday it would offer $10 million of Class A and Class B units.
** AVG TECHNOLOGIES NV, $25.23, up 3.3 pct (10:12 a.m. ET)
Brokerage Nomura Equity Research initiated coverage on the PC and mobile anti-virus software maker's stock with a "buy" rating and a $29 price target, citing the "optimistic view" on the company's ability to monetize its mobile installed base in 2014 and its continued diversification of platform search business.
** FRANK'S INTERNATIONAL NV, $29.11, up 4 pct (10:32 a.m. ET)
Brokerage Barclays Capital started its coverage of the oil services company with an "overweight" rating and target price of $35, citing the benefits from the surging deepwater drilling activity, a strong balance sheet and high margins.
** TRIUMPH GROUP INC, $6.49, down 8 pct (10.14 a.m. ET)
The maker of aircraft components said it expects to record pretax additional program costs of $68 million, or 83 cents per share, associated with the 747-8 program. The company expects a charge of about $44 million, or 53 cents per share, to be included in the second-quarter results, while $11.0 million, or 14 cents per share, would be reflected in the third-quarter earnings.
** SANGAMO BIOSCIENCES INC, $10.97, up 4 pct (9:42 a.m. ET)
The drugmaker said its common stock offering of 6.1 million shares is priced at $10.58 per share, the closing price of its stock on Tuesday, and which will fetch $65 million in gross proceeds.
** VISHOP HOLDINGS LTD, $53.66, up 9.5 pct (10:30 a.m E.T)
Deutsche Bank upgraded its rating on the Chinese online discount retailer's stock to "buy" from "hold," according to theflyonthewall.com
** REPOROS THERAPEUTICS INC, $25.84, up 8 pct (9:56 a.m. ET)
Ladenburg Thalmann raised the price target of the drugmaker's stock to $35 from $25 and reiterated a "buy" rating after the company's experimental drug Androxal met the main goals of a key study on men with low testosterone levels.
** CRACKER BARREL OLD COUNTRY STORE INC, $104.40, down 2 pct (9:42 a.m. ET)
The restaurant operator forecast current-quarter profit below analysts' estimates due to higher commodity costs and other expenses.
** SERVICENOW INC, $51.53, up 4 pct (10:16 a.m. ET)
Brokerage Morgan Stanley upgraded the cloud computing company's stock to "overweight" from "equal weight", according to theflyonthewall.com.
** ALLIANCE FIBER OPTIC PRODUCTS INC, $21.77, up 7.5 pct (10:16 a.m. ET)
The supplier of fiber optic components raised its revenue expectations for the current quarter due to a recovery in spending by telecom equipment makers.
Brokerage B. Riley on Wednesday raised its price target on the company's stock to $19 from $15.60.
** EAGLE BULK SHIPPING INC, $5.41, up 7 pct (10:20 a.m. ET)
** GENCO SHIPPING AND TRADING LTD, $4.15, up 2 pct
** DRYSHIPS INC, $3.24, up 5 pct
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which reflects the cost of shipping commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, was up about 5 percent for the second consecutive day.
In recent weeks, rates for capesize ships, one of the largest dry bulk vessels hauling industrial commodities like coal and iron ore, have spiked to their highest levels since December 2011, reaching more than $32,000 a day, helped by an iron ore import push by China.
** COMSTOCK RESOURCES INC, $16.05, up 1.6 pct (10:15 a.m. ET)
Global Hunter Securities analysts upgraded the oil and gas company to "buy" from "accumulate", citing increased confidence that the company will be able to maintain its Eagle Ford production inventory with bolt-on deals in the shale field and without overpaying.
** SOHU.COM INC, $73.27, up 8 pct (10:26 a.m. ET)
The Chinese internet portal on Wednesday said its majority-owned search unit Sogou Inc paid a special dividend amounting to $300.9 million to the holders of Series A preferred shares of Sogou.
** MAXWELL TECHNOLOGIES, $10.31, up 10.2 pct (10:02 a.m. ET)
Piper Jaffray raised its rating on the stock of the maker of energy storage and power delivery-related products to "overweight" from "neutral", according to theflyonthewall.com.
** QUIKSILVER INC, $6.91, up 3 pct (10:16 a.m. ET)
BB&T Capital Markets started coverage of the apparel and accessories retailer with a "buy" rating and a $11 price target, according to theflyonthewall.com
** FLEETMATICS GROUP PLC, $46.12, down 4 pct (10:21 a.m. ET)
The company, which sells web-based fleet-tracking software, announced the pricing of about 6 million of its ordinary shares at a price of $46.79 per share in a follow-on offering.
** CHEMOCENTRYX INC, $6.21, down 3 pct (9:40 a.m. ET)
Chemocentryx said that GlaxoSmithKline Plc returned the rights to its most advanced drug in development for inflammatory bowel disease.
** RESPONSYS INC, $15.80, up 6 pct (09:58 a.m. ET)
Morgan Stanley raised its rating to "overweight" from "equal weight" on the marketing software and online services provider's stock, according to the website theflyonthewall.com.
** BIOTA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $4.10, down 6 pct (10:20 a.m. ET)
The drugmaker said it had received no royalty for its flu drug Relenza from GlaxoSmithKline in the fourth quarter due to tepid demand for the drug.
The company expects to earn an equal or lesser amount from the drug in royalty revenue in 2014 compared to 2013.
** DOLLAR TREE INC, $57.46, up 3 pct (9:40 a.m. ET)
The value retailer on Tuesday announced a $2 billion share repurchase program. The company also said it had entered into agreements to repurchase $1 billion of its common shares under a variable maturity accelerated share repurchase program.
** FIVE BELOW INC, $46.70, down 4 pct (9:40 a.m. ET)
The specialty value retailer on Tuesday announced a secondary offering by its shareholders. The company said shareholders have agreed to sell 7.1 million shares of its common stock, of which 7 million shares would be sold by funds affiliated with Advent International and 100,000 shares will be sold by Five Below's executive chairman.
(Compiled by Varun Aggarwal)